Jackson has been doing well in Day Rehab and is very happy there. He is making great progress both physically and cognitively. His speech therapist introduced himself to me a few days ago and said that he had been gone a few days and was so amazed when he returned by how much progress Jackson had made in such a short time. It's harder for me to recognize since I am with him every day, but after his speech therapist said that, I realized how much better he was getting at keeping his train of thought and remembering words. He also moved from red level to yellow level this week, reflecting his status of being supervised as he walks around at Day Rehab. That means his balance and coordination are much better. We hope to find out this week if he will be approved for another 30 day grant, otherwise we are still set to be released October 5th. This has been an amazing period of growth for Jackson and we are so grateful we have had this opportunity.
We've been very happy living at the Ronald McDonald House and we feel very lucky to be here. We've made some great friends, including other families who are staying here and the wonderful volunteers who take care of us. It's nice to feel at home when we are missing our home and family so much. Ashley and the boys came for a visit yesterday and Jackson was so happy to be with them. He told me he can't wait to be home with his family and to see everyone at church in Ridgeland. It won't be long now. I keep reminding him we are in the home stretch!
We love and appreciate all of you and our thoughts and prayers are with you!
I arrived back in Atlanta yesterday afternoon and Ashley drove back to South Carolina to be home with the other boys. I enjoyed spending time with Jake, Trevor and Adam the past few days. It was good to be home and gave me an opportunity to assess the situation. Ashley has been doing such a good job of keeping everything together, but even he can't do everything. All I had to do was mention my needs to my good friends Susan and Lisa, and everything seemed to fall into place. I am so humbled and grateful for all of the offers of help and assurances of support that we received from our Church friends, neighbors, and "family" at the charter school that Trevor and Adam are attending. Within a very short period of time, all of my major concerns about the house, yard, and transportation for the kids were resolved. I can't think of these people as anything but angels who showed up just when we needed them most. I was able to leave South Carolina with peace of mind knowing that Ashley and the boys were being watched out for.
Jackson looks great and is so happy. His walking and talking have improved in the five days I was gone. I think he and Ashley really enjoyed being able to spend a few days here together. The people at Day Rehab want Jackson to stay for 60 days, but the scholarship application only extends for 30 days at a time. It's possible that when they re-evaluate him in a couple weeks, if he has made significant progress, they might be able to get a grant for another 30 days. For right now, we have been given a tentative release date of October 5th. Regardless of what happens, we are thrilled to have had this opportunity. Jackson has a very positive attitude and wants very much to get stronger and better so he tries very hard in his therapy sessions. We are so grateful to have gotten this far!
Be assured that our thoughts and prayers are with you all and that we look forward to being home amongst our friends and loved ones. The Lord has been so good to us and blessed us to have so many wonderful people in our lives. We love you all!
We made the big move on Friday from being an inpatient for over 2 months to outpatient rehab (Day Rehab). We couldn't have done it without the help of our friend Nick, who grew up in Ridgeland and is now living in Atlanta not far from Scottish Rite. He helped pack us up, run errands and move us into our upstairs room at the Ronald McDonald House. It was A LOT of work for him but he was so patient and never complained. Later that day Jackson said, "Nick is our hero."
Ashley and the boys came on Saturday and it was a joyous reunion for the brothers. Jackson was so happy to get out and spend time with them. We went to the temple grounds and Walmart and to the barber shop. He was tired but enjoyed every minute of the silly inside jokes and wild antics. I felt a cold coming on and didn't want to pass it on to him or anyone else at RMcD House so I came home Saturday night with the boys and Ashley is staying with Jackson in Atlanta for a few days. I know they are enjoying their time together and I am working on getting things organized and hopefully making life a little easier for Ashley, with a little help from my friends :)
These first few days of Day Rehab will be mostly about assessing how Jackson is doing and what he will need. By Thursday or Friday, they should be able to tell us how long we can expect to stay in order to meet the goals they set for him. I am guessing we will stay until about the middle of October, but I will let everyone know for sure when we hear something definitive.
It's been nice to be here with the boys and hear more about their daily life. I have been out of the loop so long that they have a lot to tell me. They are being well taken care of and well loved by Ashley, our ward family, and good friends and schoolteachers. We are so blessed to have so many people looking out for our family! Thank you for your kindness and prayers in our behalf!
We get to go to Day Rehab!!! I went over and toured the facility today and I'm so excited for Jackson to be able to continue his wonderful progress on an outpatient basis. We will be moving down the street to the Ronald McDonald house when we are discharged on Friday. Jackson and the other kids will ride the shuttle every morning and stay from 9 am to 3 pm. It will be even more intensive therapy so that by the time he is done (probably 4-6 weeks) he will be more prepared to start back to school and do all of the things he enjoys. I have learned so much this past week. There are some things we can't control. We have to put our trust in the Lord and have faith that He will do what is best for us. And that He knows the best timing for everything. This experience has changed me and my family forever. We will never be the same. Our perspective on what is important in life has changed and our understanding of God's love has deepened. Love to you all, Heather
Jackson and I have had some great conversations this weekend. He has had a lot of questions about what happened to him and what has happened over the past two months. He has no memory of anything that happened the day of the accident up until a few days ago when Ashley came to visit. Today we were talking about some of the details of what happened on the day of the accident. Jackson got very emotional when he realized the gravity of his injury and how sad everyone was. He said through his tears, "Heavenly Father has blessed us." I couldn't agree more. Everything has been improving quickly over the past week--balance, walking, talking, eating, cognitive function, and memory. We are all set to be discharged from the hospital on Friday and we are still praying that the funds will be available for Jackson to stay and do the Day Therapy program. I think we will know something for sure by tomorrow sometime. Either way, we will always be so grateful for the opportunity we've had to be here and get all the great therapy we've gotten over the past few weeks. I have been reading to Jackson all of the great emails and cards and notes that have been sent. He smiles and says "That was nice. Thank you." We are all grateful for our family and friends who have shown such love and support and have offered so many prayers on our behalf. We thank the Lord for all of you! Love, Heather
Jackson, we caught a bunch of fiddler crabs today and we are going to try to get some Sheephead in the morning before school starts. We are thrilled that you will be home soon to catch some with us. We love you and miss you. We have a new giant knife for you to use on the dock... (Jody, Daddy, Trevor, Jake and Adam)
Jackson is making up for lost time with his eating and his talking. The doctor suspended all feeds through his tube today because he has been doing so well. Yay! Tonight Jackson is sleeping without any machines hooked to him, like a normal boy. He has been talking more and more and can remember details about things that he knew before the accident, like what happens in his favorite movies. He loves playing the physically interactive wii games during therapy and talks about wii constantly. He is working the iPad like he has been using it for years. Ashley was here visiting today and we so enjoyed having him here. Jackson didn't want him to leave this evening and told him, "You come back tomorrow.". He is also remembering home and keeps talking about going home to Lemon Island. And he has been talking about his siblings and wants to see them. Tonight we got ready for bed and I said a prayer with Jackson and told him I loved him and he said,"I love you more.". So grateful for Heavenly Father's blessings. Love you all, Heather